New York — HM King Mohammed VI underlined the need to break the stalemate and put an end to the uncertainty characterizing the peace process, calling for meaningful negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, with a reasonable time frame.
This is meant to end the occupation and reach an agreement that covers all final-status issues, said HM the King in a message handed, on Wednesday in New York, to the chairman of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
In this message, the sovereign underscored the fact that the ever expanding construction of illegal settlements is an enemy of peace. "Such illegal activities have increased at an alarming rate since the beginning of 2017, not to mention the retroactive legitimization of settlement outposts," His Majesty stressed.
The sovereign regretted that such settlement outposts are in blatant defiance of Security Council resolutions and in violation of all international instruments and resolutions relating to the Palestinian issue. "It is therefore legitimate to wonder: Is there still room for the establishment of a Palestinian State that would live side by side with Israel?" the Monarch said.
"We note, with deep concern, the Israeli government's persistence to allow settlement schemes to continue in the occupied Palestinian territories, including in holy sites in al-Quds," HM the King said, calling on the Security Council and all members of the international community to act swiftly to compel Israel - the occupying power - to respect the legal and historical status of the occupied Palestinian territories.
The sovereign insisted that Israel, being the occupying power, must respect the historical and legal status of the al-Aqsa Mosque and the al-Aqsa Mosque Compound and stop all unilateral measures aimed at changing the Arab, Islamic and Christian identity of East al-Quds.
"Similarly, the 4 June 1967 lines should be considered as the borders of the Palestinian State, and the settlement activities in all occupied Palestinian territories should stop, in compliance with the relevant United Nations resolutions - the latest being Resolution 2334, passed in 2016," HM the King stressed.
"It goes without saying that the Palestinian cause is the most important issue for the Arab and Muslim world. Allowing it to go unresolved jeopardizes the future of the peoples in the region and is a key driver of extremism and instability," HM the King warned.
Instead of reacting positively to the Arab Peace Initiative and other international initiatives - especially the 2003 Road Map, which was adopted by the Security Council, and the French initiative, which led to the Paris Peace Conference earlier this year, in a bid to salvage the two-State solution - the Israeli Government rejected all of the above without proposing alternatives or constructive solutions to resume negotiations with the Palestinians, HM the King said.
Maintaining the status quo would undoubtedly constitute a real threat to the Palestinian and the Israeli peoples, and the risks of tension, extremism, incitement of hatred and instability would remain real in the region and the world, the sovereign warned again.
HM the King also welcomed the Palestinian reconciliation agreement, describing it as a step in the right direction - one which is likely to help end the state of division and restore the spirit of national unity, as a prelude to fulfilling the Palestinian people's aspirations for an independent State, with al-Quds as its capital.